Jack Reeve: April showers - that’s all Norwich City fans got
PUBLISHED: 16:34 03 April 2018
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It’s fair to say the Easter period wasn’t a joyful one for Norwich City supporters.
The thought of a few days off mixed in with a couple of City games is usually enough to get even the most pessimistic fan excited. Sadly we saw our team slump to two fairly convincing defeats – and we got soaked in the process.
We now find ourselves with nothing to play for this season and languishing in the mid-table of a fairly average Championship. You’re probably expecting me to use this article as yet an opportunity to attack our owners and Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke. Wrong. What I’ve seen this season has been far from good enough. There have been a few glimmers of hope, but on the whole, the static football and complete lack of goal scoring has resulted in a dull spectacle for the fans. I understand the people who are frustrated with what they’re seeing, but you can’t expect to be blown away with free-flowing football and back in a financially healthy position within a year.
When Webber came in he made it very clear that the financial situation was hardly pretty and with players still on the books on big wages it wasn’t going to be an instant turnaround.
Despite not being someone who is angry with what I’m seeing at the moment, I have been slightly disappointed with the lack of progress on the pitch. Coming up against Fulham on Friday showed the contrast in quality.
On paper we have some very good players, but we lack the vital ingredients that bring everything together.
The first ingredient we’re missing is an angry midfielder who does that and also, slowly but surely, breaks down the opposition. That man came in the shape of Stefan Johansen on Friday. Not only did he have a brilliant first half, but he then scored the opening goal. However, his most important contribution to the game didn’t even involve his foot touching the ball. Johansen got into the heads of the Norwich City players in a way I hadn’t seen yet this season – it eventually came to a head near the end of the game following a tackle near the sideline in front of the following Fulham fans. Johansen dropped to the floor and then, gleaming with pride, jumped to his feet and celebrated in front of his fans.
Some would call this kind of behaviour childish and immature, I call it the kind of behaviour needed to grind out games that are in the balance. The Norwegian international also kept James Maddison quiet and late on in the game was pictured pointing out the scoreline to Maddison with his hands. It’s often Maddison who angers opposition players and fans, but this time he got a taste of his own medicine.
I’m not saying that we need a team full of Johansens, but we certainly need a better core to the team. I genuinely believe we’re a few players from assembling a good side and so far both Farke and Webber have shown a fairly decent ability to hunt out a player willing to prove himself.
Once we can get rid of some more dead wood this summer and have another transfer window for Farke to stamp his own print on the squad, then we can truly start to move forwards. It’s nice seeing a plan in place but I agree we now need to start to see the plan being executed on the pitch and some kind of fluidity with the tactics we’ve seen.
It’s time to back the boys and the club so we don’t become another soulless club caught in the rat race of trying to gain Premier League football.